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‘Jeopardy!’ Contestant Chokes On Easy Answer, Fans Baffled

Jeopardy! contestant Mike Flanagan has received backlash from viewers after choking on a seemingly easy Daily Double clue. Mike went up against returning champ Adriana Harmeyer and a scientific technician, Hakme Lee. Despite doing well throughout the episode, Mike flopped on a relatively easy answer. After receiving hate from Jeopardy! fans online, he has responded with more information about what happened. Keep reading to see what he had to say and see why fans were so confused.

Jeopardy! Contestant Fumbles Easy Answer

Mike Flanagan - YouTube/Jeopardy!

Mike, who is an executive for a non-profit, hit on a Daily Double in the category “Pulitzer Prize-Winning Biography.” At the time, he was in third place with $4,800 and he placed a $2,000 bet on his answer for the clue.

It read, “Also a CCR song, the title of this memoir by Vietnam vet Lewis Puller Jr. refers to having a legendary general as a dad.” Mike nodded his head up and down with his eyes closed, seeming to be hearing the song playing. Despite his movements to an unheard beat, Mike gave the wrong answer.

He said, “What is favorite son?” Jeopardy! host Ken Jennings replied with the right answer, “Fortunate Son.”

Viewers took to Reddit to talk about the episode and question how Mike could not know the answer. One person wrote in the Reddit thread, “HOW DO YOU NOT KNOW FORTUNATE SON, MIKE.”

Mike Defends Himself Against Jeopardy! Fans

Adriana Harmeyer - YouTube/Jeopardy!

Mike jumped in the thread to defend himself, saying that he “choked” during the question. Additionally, he was not able to sing the song out loud on the show due to copyright issues. Being able to sing the song might have helped him come up with the correct answer.

“Hey, this is Mike. You are totally right here. This one will haunt me to the end of my days,” he responded to the Reddit user. “All I can say is that I prepped really hard for many things, but I did not (could not?) prepare for the moment where everything stops and all eyes are on you and you have to do math and then get the clue.”

He continued, saying that if the Jeopardy! fans go back and rewatch the episode, they would see him nodding and singing the song in his head. However, he knew he couldn’t sing out loud “because of copyright.” Before the show started taping, the contestants were told not to sing anything out loud.

“Again, no excuses. This was a choke. If it had not been a DD, Adriana would have swooped in and nailed it, I’m sure,” Mike concluded.

Adriana Harmeyer went on to win her 11th game of Jeopardy! with $19,800. On Friday, she secured her 12th victory and will be seen on the game show once again this week.

Jeopardy! airs on weekdays. Check your local listings for details.

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